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“Hated, adored, never ignored” attitude pleases United star

Manchester-United-v-Arsenal-Premier-League-2717517Phil Jones has claimed Manchester United are being spurred on by the fact large sections of the media have already written them off and, having endured a poor start to the season, they are now relishing the opportunity to prove critics wrong.

Sunday’s 1-0 success over Arsenal moved United within five points of the Gunners, as David Moyes’ men extended their unbeaten run to nine games in all competition, with a third consecutive league wins pushing United right back into the mix, on a weekend when Chelsea were lucky to secure a draw, while Spurs and City lost.

Phil Jones, who was instrumental in stifling the danger posed by Mesut Ozil on Sunday, believes the desire of watching United fail stems from the Reds’ unparalleled success.

“People want us to fail because we’ve won the league so many times,” said Jones.

“United won the league long before I was here and everyone hates the best clubs, it’s as simple as that.

“But we enjoy that. We relish the test we get thrown at us week-in, week-out.

“It proves when people doubt us that we’re more than capable of standing up for ourselves and proving to people that’s why we were champions last season.

“We weren’t champions for nothing. We thoroughly deserved all the points we got last season. This is a step in the right direction going into a busy period.”

The United defender insisted that had United slipped 11 points behind Arsenal, they still would have fancied their chances to close the gap, although Sunday’s result could prove to be exactly the tonic United needed after a shaky start to the season.

“It would have been difficult but look at the season before last, when we were a long way clear of Manchester City,” said the United defender.

“They turned it around, so anything is possible in football. You could never write us off. But full credit to the lads. Everyone put in a shift and dug deep.”

“The gaffer set us up in a certain shape all week,” said Jones. “He went round individual players and prepared us really well. It has shown that has worked.

“The game needed energy, especially in the middle of the park. We needed to close people down and make an effort to win the ball back.

“We made it really difficult for Arsenal to play, especially in the first-half. We limited them to very few chances and coped with it really well.

“It was one of those games where, no matter where you play, it was just great to be involved in. It was a fiesty affair and tackles were flying in.

“The crowd were up on their feet and when you get a win like that it just makes it ever so sweet.”

“Robin does that in training every day. He’s a top player. It was a great ball by Wayne, who was terrific. His workrate was excellent. Those two are on fire at the moment.”